Destination Dispatching generates the most questions during project design meetings, lunch and learns, and tender review meetings. Below is a summary of the concept and answers to frequently asked questions.
The premise behind destination dispatching is that knowledge is power. With traditional dispatching, a two-button system, the elevator control system only knows that someone wants to go Up or Down from a particular floor. The system does not know how many people are behind the call, where the passenger is going, or if there are any special journey requirements.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s our industry offered "Fuzzy Logic." This was a system learning algorithm that would detect multiple calls from a certain floor or directional patterns, and the system would either anticipate or react to the traffic demand. Today, with Destination Dispatching, the system can use passenger inputs to facilitate optimal service.
Destination Dispatching requires passengerss to enter their destination floor at a lobby input station.
Destination requests are "bunched" and assigned to an elevator serving the same or continguous floor.
This assignment enables each elevator in a group to make less stops during the peak period, which results in the entire system making more trips during the peak period.
A Destination Dispatching system includes Hall Input Stations, Elevator Identifiers, Destination Indicators, and Car Position Indicators.
When a passenger enters their destination call, the Hall Input Station reports their elevator assignment, i.e. A-G. The passenger then waits in front of the assigned car. This helps to organize the lobby queue.
The Elevator Identifiers take the place of the traditional Hall Lanters, and identifies the elevator with an alphabetical character. The Elevator Identifieres can be Static or Active. Static Identifiers are simply car labels; they can be provided by the elevator contractor or by the project's signage consultant. Active Identifiers have indicator lights that illuminate or flash after car assignment or arrival. These devices are provided by the elevator contractor.
When the elevator arrives, the passenger will see the floor(s) to be served by the elevator in the Destination Indicator. This is mounted in the car entrance jamb. After the car begins the journey, the passenger will see the floor served in the traditional Car Position Indicator.
The Hall Input function can be integrated with the lobby security turnstiles; the passenger presents their RFI coded building security card and receives their car assignment on a display located at the end of the turnstile.
Knowledge is power. Knowing who enters the destination call and where the person needs to go, enables many features:
Property managers know this scenario all to well - tenants within an existing zone that perfer not to co-mingle with other tenants in the same elevator. Those tenants have good commercial reasons for desiring such separation. With coded input cards, the system can recognize passenger preferences and discretely make car assignments accordingly.
An RFI reader provided either by a security contractor, or the elevator company, is embeded into the Hall Input station. When a passenger presents their creditials, the Hall Station will indicate the floor(s) available to the passenger.
There are tenants, residents, doctors, political leaders, and others with certain credentials that may require a dedicated trip to their destination floor. Rather than providing a separate elevator, which consumes valuable core space, the system can recognize such persons, pull one car out of group function, dispatching the empty car to provide the requested service, and then return the car to group operation after the VIP trip is completed. Again, a discrete function that does not cause passenger disruptions.
Virtual Swing Car:
There are functional transfers that take place in every building; examples include water and parcel deliveries, and not every building can have the luxury of a dedicated service elevator. The Virtual Swing Car operation assigns such transfers to one elevator, limiting potential abuse to one car and saving the need for a separate dedicated riser of hall push button stations.
This means not all cars in the same group serving all floors in the zone. An example would be two cars of a six car group serving a parking level. Since the system knows a passengers destination floor, the system will dispatch one of the two cars capable of making the trip.
The more advanced destination dispatching systems offer:
Smart Phone Interface:
A natural development given today's integration of our Smart Phones in every day life. Using the manufacturers' Aps, passengers can enter their destination call on their phone.
Taking the developed technology one step farther, at least one system serves as an access control system throughout the entire building. The "elevator Ap" controls the elevator destination, controls access to various rooms, for example resident amenities, and provides tracking throughout a buiidng. The system even allows a resident to text a link to a visitor that provides a one time access to the elevator that specifically serves the resident's floor.
Q & A
Q: Are there push buttons in the car?
A: Technically, yes. But they are not floor car call push buttons. Code requires the Door Open, Door Close, Alarm Bell, &
Communication Button. Behind a locked panel, there are buttons or a key pad for Fire Fighter's Service. However,
there are not buttons to select a floor. If a passenger enters the wrong elevator, they must exit at a floor and re-enter
their destination call.
Q: Do I still need the same number of elevators? Can I eliminate one elevator in the group?
A: No. Destination Dispatching helps to improve the system Handling Capacity during the peak period when all passengers
are grouped at the main terminal landing, i.e. Office Up Peak. However, during the Evening Down Peak, the elevator population
is distributed at the upper floors. The power of "bunching" is lost, and we still need the platform capacity offered by the
entire group. There have been arguments put forth that the Down Peak no longer exists. Observation of any mass transit
system in any major city at 5:00 p.m. quickly disputes that argument.
Q: Are all manufacturers' system the same?
A: No. While the concept is the same, each of the major manufacturers offer unique features that differentiate their system
from their competitors. Owners' are best served by tendering to a base line specification that includes the necessary
features for their project, and then allowing each provider the opportunity to present the benefits of their system.
Some systems include RFI readers, SmartPhone integration, device design options, and graphic customization. As with any
purchasing decision, there is a cost benefit balance.
Q: Is there a user learning curve?
A: Of course. But it's faster than learning how to program the VCR. Today, most everyone has a SmartPhone with more
"Aps" than needed. Learning to use Destination Dispatching is easier than learning to use a SmartPhone.
Q: Is Destination Dispatching only for office buildings?
A: No. Destination Dispatching was introduced as a boost to elevator Handling Capacity, which is of benefit in office buildings.
However, the Features and the Next Generation system benefits are being realized in all types of projects - hotels,
residential towers, and hospitals. For example, the hotel zones in the Vista and Wilshire Grand projects, and residential
zones in the Vista and Metropolis projects shown on our home page will all have destination dispatching systems.